The "Me" Economy & How to Change It

Posted by David Chism | Tue, Apr 9, 2013

 The "Me" Economy & How to Change It

Have a Very Nice Day

A more per­son­al” blog today* One of my favorite mod­ern day sto­ry­tellers is a man named Bill Harley. As a kid I remem­ber lis­ten­ing to his tapes over and over again and mem­o­rized many of his sto­ries. He also wrote a lot of songs. The one that came to mind when prepar­ing this post has these lyrics:
Some­times I get so hun­gry There’s a sand­wich that I love to eat It’s made of pick­les and jel­ly, spaghet­ti, and dough­nuts I tell you it’s a real­ly good treat But when I eat it some­time that day Some­one will come up to me to say Oh Gross, what is the mat­ter with you? You know you eat the weird­est foods I say Thanky­ou kind­ly have a very nice day I just like to be that way
We all have weird habits don’t we? We also have opin­ions about sports, pol­i­tics, par­ent­ing, food, reli­gion and so on. I’m sur­prised at how easy it is to be crit­i­cal of oth­ers. It is easy to say or express to an employ­ee, a ven­dor, sales­per­son or a cashier the words, What is the mat­ter with you?” In oth­er words, we are basi­cal­ly say­ing, You are stu­pid!” As a busi­ness own­er, I’ve thought and expressed my dis­ap­point­ment to peo­ple who are not me many a times. I want what I want! I am a tough guy to please! I want the best ser­vice, the best food, less typos in a post, the fastest email response: basi­cal­ly no mis­takes or I’m not hap­py. Why? Because I’m part of the Me Econ­o­my.

The Me Economy

What I’m call­ing the Me Econ­o­my” is noth­ing new real­ly. It has been around since the begin­ning of time. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, peo­ple are more con­cerned about them­selves first and then oth­ers. Jesus knew the prob­lem of mankind well when He told His lis­ten­ers these words in Matthew 7:12 ESV, So what­ev­er you wish that oth­ers would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” From that verse came what is known today as the Gold­en Rule.” Jesus was say­ing that it is nat­ur­al to take care of our own needs, wants and desires. He want­ed His fol­low­ers to do some­thing that was unheard of: love others…even your ene­mies (i.e. unrea­son­able cus­tomers). Even though it has always been a prob­lem, it has got­ten worse in the world since the rise of quick com­mu­ni­ca­tions and tech­nol­o­gy upgrades. My dad often miss­es the times when he used to be on the job paint­ing and get a page to call some­one back. This was not all that long ago. He would get to a good stop­ping point, put down his equip­ment and ask the own­er of the home if he could use his or her tele­phone. It was not con­sid­ered rude to ask to do such a thing. In just 20 to 25 years, we would not even think about ask­ing a cus­tomer to use his phone. Many of us would stop what we are doing to pick up the phone or return a text mes­sage in sec­onds, not 15 min­utes or an hour lat­er. Why? Because we are liv­ing in a hyper Me Econ­o­my.” We want instant answers and ser­vice. We have lit­er­al­ly no tol­er­ance or patience to wait! Tech­nol­o­gy has its place in busi­ness, but I’ve expe­ri­enced some of the prob­lems with it too. It is always read­i­ly avail­able. Many times I’ve found myself using my device to admin­is­ter more of me-ness” instead of what it is real­ly meant to be used for: orga­niz­ing my life and serv­ing my cus­tomers.

How to Make a Difference

As I have men­tioned above, I’ve been one of the top con­trib­u­tors of the Me Econ­o­my, and I want to do some­thing about it. One of the ways I plan on mak­ing a dif­fer­ence is by how I com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple that pro­vide a ser­vice to me. The next time I’m at a restau­rant and the serv­er screws up my order…or the food isn’t just what I had in mind, I’m not going to make a big deal about it or write some nasty, 1 star review. When I’m at Home Depot, Wal­mart or Best Buy, I’ll make a point to say thanks to the cashier or sales­per­son for help­ing me out instead of cri­tiquing their every action on how they treat me.

Your Take­aways

How do you treat your ven­dors, sales­peo­ple, employ­ees and so on? Bet­ter yet, how do you respond when a cus­tomer crit­i­cizes your com­pa­ny? Do you take it per­son­al­ly and vow to get even? Or do you say, as Bill Harley said, Thanky­ou kind­ly, have a very nice day!” Then go and make that cus­tomer’s day! How can you attack the me econ­o­my today in your per­son­al or busi­ness life? Let’s pur­pose to slow life down just a lit­tle and enjoy this sea­son of life.  *This blog post was inspired after lis­ten­ing to a 2 – 3 minute devo­tion­al before a game of bas­ket­ball this week. 2x a week I get togeth­er with some local guys, many who are Chris­t­ian men and women. One of the old­er guys leads a short devo­tion­al and prayer time before we hit the court. 

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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